10 Details in Michael Jackson’s Costumes That Were a Mystery to Us for a Long Time

11 months ago

Michael Jackson was quite selective about his outfits, always aiming to be unique. That’s why his costumes were full of intriguing details that made people curious about their significance. For instance, he often wore jackets with an armband on the right sleeve; some even had “777” sewn onto them.

1. White socks

imago stock&people / Imago Stock and People / EAST NEWS

Michael Jackson had a particular fondness for white socks, and there were good reasons behind it. He was unique in wearing white socks with black shoes, and this choice served a purpose. The white socks would catch the light, making his footwork stand out and grabbing attention while he danced.

2. Armband on the right sleeve

AP Photo / Lennox McLendon / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

Michael Jackson had a simple desire for his clothes — he wanted them to stand out from the crowd. That’s why he often wore an armband on one sleeve. It made him look unique and catch people’s attention. Michael enjoyed keeping his fans curious about the meaning behind the armband on his outfit.

3. CTE on his jackets

AP Photo / Jacques Brinon / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

These letters don’t have a specific meaning. In the 90s, Michael’s costume designers made some new shirts for him. He liked them but wanted to add a unique touch, so he decided to have letters on the epaulets. He didn’t mind which letters, so his designers put all the alphabet letters in a hat and randomly picked three. That’s how the letters “CTE” ended up on the shirts.

4. He wore smaller costumes at the end of his shows

John Barrett / PHL / MPI / Capital Pictures / Capital Pictures / East News, AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News, AP Photo / Lennox McLendon / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

Michael Jackson’s dance routines were incredibly demanding, and he put a lot of energy into his performances. He would work so hard that by the end of the show, he sometimes lost up to 5 pounds, and his waist would shrink by an inch. Since his outfits needed to fit just right and highlight his dance moves, each new costume he wore was slightly smaller than the previous one.

5. He preferred China silk.

He liked materials like China silk, silk charmeuse, and stretchy fabrics. His costume designer, Michael Bush, shared in his book that spandex made Michael feel smooth and confident, which suited his dance style. Making sure Jackson’s clothes were comfortable for dancing was a top priority, as he would dance for hours each day, even when not on tour. Bush even mentioned that Jackson carried a portable hardwood floor in a road case for his dancing needs.

6. He taped his fingers.


Hand movements played a big role in Michael Jackson’s dance routines. To make them more noticeable, he and his costume designers devised a clever idea — wrapping white tape around his fingers. But Michael wanted to keep things unique, so he chose to tape only his index, ring, and pinkie fingers. This little detail added to his look and sparked curiosity among fans who wondered why he taped only three fingers. It was a fun touch for him and his fans.

AP Photo / Douglas C. Pizac / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

While dancing, Michael had a habit of naturally bringing his two untaped fingers together. This intriguing move added a touch of mystery to his performances, and fans often speculated about whether this gesture held a hidden meaning.

7. He didn’t polishe his shoes.

There was a time when Michael’s managers were worried about his shoes and requested the costume designer to polish them. However, this decision greatly upset Michael. He explained that the leather was intentionally worn in a specific way that allowed him to execute his dance moves perfectly, and polishing them would make the surface too slippery, causing difficulties during his performances.

8. 3 № 7s sewn onto his jackets

AP Photo / Kevork Djansezian / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

The reason behind this detail is both straightforward and heartwarming. Michael was the seventh child in his family. Additionally, he was born in 1958, and when you add 19 and 58 together, it makes 77.

9. He only wore one glove.


Michael had vitiligo, a skin condition that causes patches of skin to lose color. It began on his hand, and he wanted to conceal it. He thought wearing two gloves might seem too usual, so he chose to wear just one.

10. Lean shoes

Thanks to a clever V-shaped clasp on the bottom of the heels, Michael Jackson had special shoes that seemed to defy gravity. This allowed him to hook onto a nail on the floor and perform his iconic 45-degree forward tilt. However, this move required incredible core and leg strength to keep his body straight.

We might not realize it, but costumes often carry strong messages, whether it’s a celebrity on stage or a character from a beloved TV show. So, try to be on the lookout for more interesting details.

Preview photo credit AFP PHOTO / Files / Roslan RAHMAN / AFP / EAST NEWS, AP Photo / Douglas C. Pizac / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East New


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